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6 Baby Sensory Play Activities

by Rachel Withers
March 16, 2022

Here are 6 baby sensory play activities to safely engage the youngest artists. Your baby will delight in these fun experiences.

If you are a parent or caretaker of a baby, you may be wondering how to engage them as they move past the early infant stage.

Once your child can sit up independently, a whole exciting new world begins to emerge! And then the crawling starts…

Here are a few of my favorite sensory play ideas especially for babies.

These activities are taste safe and involve materials that avoid any potential choking hazards. With that said, your baby will almost certainly want to investigate with all their senses, including tasting. Stay nearby to ensure your baby’s safety at all times.

You’re not going to want to miss the delight on their faces as eyebrows raise, smiles emerge and little legs kick with excitement. ☺️

Sensory Play for Babies

Water play setup with citrus and flowers
Photo by Rachel Withers

1. Water

This is by far the easiest set up because water alone is enough to keep your baby engaged splish splashing.

Fill a container just an inch with water and stay nearby to ensure safety of your child. You might add an orange or lemon to float around or cut citrus in half for tasting.

baby water play
Photo by Rachel Withers

2. Ice

Ice cubes or big blocks of ice are fun for babies to try to grasp. Put them in a container or tape a piece of bubble wrap to the floor and add ice for a very fun sensory play experience for the crawling baby.

sensory play for babies_aquafaba
Photo by Rachel Withers

3. Aquafaba

Have you ever heard of aquafaba? It’s the liquid from a can of chickpeas! Whip it with cream of tartar to add stability and you’ve got yourself a completely taste safe play material.

I heard about this material when both my children were very young and found it to be a wonderful alternative to bubble foam when they were always putting materials in their mouth.

Find the recipe and instructions for making aquafaba here.

baby sensory play ideas_tapioca pearls
Photo by Rachel Withers

4. Tapioca pearls

This is water beads safety conscious cousin. Tapioca pearls are the taste safe version of water beads and tapioca pearls (pictured above) are the tiny version.

I prefer these to water beads, which although mesmerizing, have serious health concerns if accidentally ingested.

pea play baby and toddler
Photo by Rachel Withers

5. Peas

Ali from Creationspace shared the idea of using frozen peas or corn in water for a fun sensory play material.

We’ve tried this one a few times and it’s wonderfully easy. Adapt this for older siblings with the addition of strainers and vessels for pouring.

baby sensory play cornmeal
Photo by Rachel Withers

6. Cornmeal

Credit for this idea also goes to Creationspace. Cornmeal is fun on its own for babies to touch. As your child gets older, add in a whole sensory experience of smells with cinnamon sticks or ground spices for a pretend bakery!

sensory play for babies_oobleck
Photo by Rachel Withers

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